3 Dec 2012

Australia announces funding for PNG sexual violence units

5:28 pm on 3 December 2012

Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Papua New Guinea are to receive more support, with the announcement of just under 400-thousand US dollars of funding from Australia for four new specialist units.

Australia's foreign minister, Bob Carr, says the units will be based at police stations at Alotau, Buka, Vanimo and Kundiawa and will open in January.

He says they will be staffed by local officers with specialised training in dealing with complaints of domestic or sexual violence.

Mr Carr says those officers will also help women seeking support services such as transport to courts, medical assistance, help with interim protection orders and safe housing.

He says the new units are in addition to existing Ausaid-funded facilities in Port Moresby, Goroka, Mount Hagen, Lae, Popondetta and Kokopo, which respond to amore than one thousand domestic and sexual violence complaints a year.

PNG suffers the region's worst levels of family violence and rape, with most women having experienced some form of domestic violence and 60 percent of men reporting having taken part in a gang rape.